If you’re an historian, the first thing you’ll likely think of when hearing the words “Border Reivers” isn’t a 2-4 player board game centred around some fairly light-hearted economic development and challenging warfare. Instead, you’ll probably be thinking of the groups of men that rode around on horseback in the middle ages, raiding towns around the Anglo-Scottish border and causing notable disruption for both Scottish and Northern-English people who lived nearby.
Medieval history is fascinating with films and documentaries about how people lived back then proving very popular with not just history scholars but also the wider public too. The Border Reivers Gangs are a slice of that history that make riveting reading as they hailed from within a mile of the English/Scottish Borders between the 1300’s and 1600’s and raided the land around the borders constantly within this time period. There are many books on the market that cover the Border Reivers, while here are our top five books on the subject from our number one read through to number five.
Attribution of Above Image of Reivers raid on Gilnockie Tower to G Cattermole [Public domain]
Though Britain in the middle ages can’t exactly be described as having been a particularly pleasant place to live for most peasants, the relative peace that existed on the main bulk of Britain’s land was a stark contrast to the situation on the Anglo-Scottish border. The political struggle between the two countries at the time is probably the most well-documented, but underlying this battle of ideals and ideas was the disturbing of the (still relative) peace around the countries’ borders at the hands of famous clans known as the Border Reivers, operating well outside the law.